Instead of a traditional condenser and furnace, a geothermal heat pump is used to provide heating and cooling to the building. By extracting heat from the outdoor air, a heat pump can release several times as much heat into the building as the heat value of the electricity it consumes. The heat pump uses a vertical closed loop system, taking advantage of land mass as a heat exchanger to either heat or cool the building. The geothermal heat in conjunction with active systems will attempt to negate energy use from the grid, an off-grid system.
In addition to using geothermal heating and cooling, the sustainable prototype will also incorporate wind and solar energy to create a system which will essentially allow us to stay “off the grid”. The multiple horizontal wind axis turbines alone generate half of the necessary power for a typical small commercial building. They are ideal for mosts areas of the world, where the prevailing wind speed is above 3m/s. Working in union with this system is a photovoltaic array, which is proposed to be mounted on the roof and angled accordingly to provide maximum output. The combination of these two systems is a key element in any green design – the building will rely more on the wind turbines in the winter months, while the photovoltaic array will take on more of a role during the summer, when the days are longer and the prevailing wind is significantly less (see examples below).
Buildings modified with passive energy systems optimises energy consumption. The sustainable prototype encompasses all aspects of passive energy gain through intelligent passive design, utilizing and harnessing the natural fluctuations in temperature and air movement in our building caused by the predictable changes in the movements of the sun through the cycle of the seasons. The north facade is kept tight to protect from cold winter winds while the south facade is opened up with broad glass doors to flood the living space with natural light and take advantage of the suns heat during the winter through the implementation of a finish concrete floor acting as thermal mass. This allows the occupant to control the indoor climate naturally and more efficiently than traditional means, thus decreasing the dependency on energy. The cool exterior air intake through the sliding doors located on the south works in conjunction with the skylights along the central axis of the space, creating a natural pathway for cross ventilating air to actively cool the interior (see examples below).
Examples of Active Energy Systems:
Examples of Passive Energy Systems:
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